CORNEILLE (Pierre).

Lot 4
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Estimation :
3000 - 4000 EUR
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Result : 3 539EUR
CORNEILLE (Pierre).
Andromeda. Tragedy. Represented with the Machines on the Royal Theatre of Bourbon. Rouen, Laurens Maurry, 1651. And sold in Paris, by Charles de Sercy. In-4, red morocco, triple fillet gilt, spine decorated, inner lace, gilt edges (Honnelaître).
First illustrated edition, published a few days after the original in-12.
The illustration, engraved in intaglio by François Chauveau, includes a frontispiece and 6 remarkable folding plates engraved after the decorations of Giacomo Torelli.
Commissioned by Cardinal Mazarin, Andromède was Corneille's first machine tragedy and established the aesthetic principles of machine theatre in France, which was exceptionally popular in the years 1650-1670
Mazarin, who had brought from Italy a taste for opera and large-scale performances [...] then had the idea of staging a French opera, the verses of which were written by the greatest poet of the time; he appointed Corneille to compose it. The poet had no choice of subject, which was probably imposed on him by the cardinal. It was a question of using the decorations and machines executed under the direction of the Italian Torelli, for the ballet of Orpheus, and one could only put on the stage a great mythological spectacle (Picot, p. 60).
The play was first performed in January 1650 on the stage of the Théâtre du Petit-Bourbon.
A fine copy, carefully washed and perfectly set. It is complete with the plates which are here intact and with beautiful margins, except for the frontispiece which presents a very slight and skilful restoration in the outer margin.
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